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George Johnston (novelist)

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Name  George Johnston
Role  Journalist

Died  July 22, 1970, Australia
Movies  My Brother Jack
George Johnston (novelist) dgrassetscomauthors1343490089p56451302jpg
Books  My Brother Jack, Clean Straw for Nothing, Endeared by Dark, The Spirit‑Paraclete in the Go, Cartload of Clay
Similar People  Charmian Clift, Simon Lyndon, William McInnes, Ken Cameron, Sue Milliken

Charmian clift george johnston the children in island of love hydra 1962

George Henry Johnston OBE (20 July 1912 – 22 July 1970) was an Australian journalist, war correspondent and novelist, best known for My Brother Jack. He was the husband and literary collaborator of Charmian Clift.



George Henry Johnston was born in Melbourne and spent his childhood in the family home in Elsternwick and was educated in local secondary schools before taking up an apprenticeship as a lithographer.

He was subsequently taken on as a journalist for the Melbourne Argus newspaper. He achieved a certain fame due to his dispatches as a correspondent during World War II. With his second wife, Charmian Clift he was posted to London as a European correspondent.

In 1951, Albert Arlen tried to engage Johnston's services as writer of his musical The Sentimental Bloke, but he was not interested. Johnston abandoned his journalism career in 1954 and moved with Clift to the Greek island of Hydra, where he began writing full-time and took part in the island's circle of international artists, including Canadian poet Leonard Cohen and Scandinavian novelists Axel Jensen and Göran Tunström. While there he contracted tuberculosis. He returned to live in Sydney in 1964.

Johnston is best known for his trilogy of semi-autobiographical novels: My Brother Jack, Clean Straw for Nothing and A Cartload of Clay.

He was the father of four children, daughters Gae and Shane and two sons Jason and the poet Martin Johnston. From the names of his children, he created the pseudonym Shane Martin, under which name he published a total of five novels.

George Johnston was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1970 for services to literature. He died later that year, aged 58.


  • Miles Franklin Award for My Brother Jack, 1964
  • Miles Franklin Award for Clean Straw for Nothing, 1969
  • The Sydney Morning Herald Literary Competition for High Valley, 1948
  • References

    George Johnston (novelist) Wikipedia

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